Extra Planning Matters When Traveling During Retirement

Extra Planning Matters When Traveling During Retirement

Travel during retirement typically requires more planning and preparation than vacations taken earlier in life. These vacations tend to last longer, and, for a variety of reasons, they can often place you in more vulnerable situations than experienced previously. In addition, later-in-life travel involves financial, estate and health considerations that are usually not as necessary during more normal travel planning around flights, hotels and activities. With summer travel season upon us, it might make sense to think twice about this basic topic before embarking on that next exotic or long-term excursion.

Access to Funds – For longer-duration travel, it’s best to avoid carrying large sums of cash on your person, highlighting the need for access to cash during the trip. Research local banks you can physically visit if you need to replenish your cash supply. Credit cards are now widely accepted internationally and it will benefit you to find a card provider that refunds foreign transaction fees. Try to bring multiple cards in case one becomes compromised. Finally, notify your Wealth Manager of your travel plans in advance, so they are aware if you request an international funds transfer.

Personal Documents – Prior to departure, make photocopies of all passports, visas and other travel documents. Bring one copy with you and give another to a trusted family member or friend at home. Provide that same trusted person with a copy of your full itinerary, including contact information for your travel agent and any agencies used to plan excursions. Finally, make a list of the contact information for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in each place you will be visiting.

Estate Plan Check-In – A proper estate plan is comprised of multiple living documents, which require updating from time to time, regardless of travel plans. However, when preparing for an exotic or potentially dangerous trip, it is worth a quick review of your plan so you can make updates if appropriate. If something were to happen to you while away, providing your successors and heirs with a list of what to do and where to find your critical documents will go a long way to making sure your estate and loved ones have peace of mind.

Healthcare Information – Medical emergencies can strike at any time, whether at home or in a foreign country. Since health generally declines as we age, the likelihood of a medical issue arising during retirement travel could be higher. To prepare, verify if your medical insurance provider offers coverage internationally. If covered, the U.S. State Department recommends bringing a copy of your insurance card with you. Next, be familiar with the locations and contact information for medical facilities or health centers at your destination. Finally, always keep your basic medical information on your person (in your bag or wallet). This can be a small notecard containing the following: primary care physician information, list of allergies and medications (including dosage), list of previous medical history, and your emergency contact. It is also important to know that Advanced Healthcare Directives executed in the United States may not be honored abroad. Certain countries allow for such arrangements, while others simply default to the immediate family’s wishes if you become incapacitated. 

Trusted Contact Information – Many financial institutions are now required to ask clients to identify a trusted contact person who can help reach you if you cannot be contacted for a prolonged period. No personal financial information would be shared with this person. Prior to an extended trip, ensure your trusted contact is on file and correct.

Taking steps to prepare for the unexpected while traveling abroad is always sensible, and it is surely more important during your retirement years. Depart on your next trip with the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of at home. If you’d like more guidance on how to fully prepare yourself and your family, reach out to your Sand Hill Wealth Manager. Then, relax and enjoy your trip!

Articles and Commentary

Information provided in written articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. There is a risk of loss from investments in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. The information contained herein reflects Sand Hill Global Advisors' (“SHGA”) views as of the date of publication. Such views are subject to change at any time without notice due to changes in market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. SHGA does not provide tax or legal advice. To the extent that any material herein concerns tax or legal matters, such information is not intended to be solely relied upon nor used for the purpose of making tax and/or legal decisions without first seeking independent advice from a tax and/or legal professional. SHGA has obtained the information provided herein from various third party sources believed to be reliable but such information is not guaranteed. Certain links in this site connect to other websites maintained by third parties over whom SHGA has no control. SHGA makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web Sites. Any forward looking statements or forecasts are based on assumptions and actual results are expected to vary from any such statements or forecasts. No reliance should be placed on any such statements or forecasts when making any investment decision. SHGA is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in this presentation and does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information. No part of this material may be (i) copied, photocopied, or duplicated in any form, by any means, or (ii) redistributed without the prior written consent of SHGA.


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